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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

The Last Song (review)

Damn you, Greg Kinnear, for making me cry over The Last Song. I was terrified that people would think I was sobbing over TV director Julie Anne Robinson’s tragedy-porn treatment of Nicholas Sparks’ cheap emotional manipulation [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [Amazon U.K.], when instead I was sobbing because you are just so damn amazing as a sad dad trying to reconnect with his kids. How you, as an actor, managed to endure being treated the same way as your character is treated by his spoiled, self-centered brat of a teenaged daughter, I don’t know. For this isn’t just a movie about a brat of a teen (Miley Cyrus: Bolt) who thinks the world revolves around her — the movie itself appears to believe that the world revolves around its tepid, tedious teen romance (with the bland and beautiful Liam Hemsworth: Knowing), and it keeps scowling and storming out — just like Cyrus’s Ronnie! — whenever something genuinely interesting is about to happen. Why couldn’t the whole movie be about dad Steve (Kinnear: Green Zone) and young Jonah (Bobby Coleman [Post Grad], also amazing) and their relationship, which is far more compelling? Oh, right: because neither of them are Hannah Montana. Instead, we get a “romantic” mudfight and a cute-dress-trying-on montage and a girl who’s special and deep and “not like the other girls” merely because she reads Tolstoy and rescues sea turtle eggs from raccoons on the beach. OMG movies are so unfair!

MPAA: rated PG for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • Dana G

    Obviously you have not ready the book since the book focuses on four characters, Steve, Ronnie, Will and Marcus. I adore Greg Kinnear but the movie is based on the book so it has to focus on all of them. And if the character of Ronnie was played as “a brat of a teen (Miley Cyrus: Bolt) who thinks the world revolves around her” then that is exactly as the character was portrayed in the book.

  • Nathan

    Dana, even if critics were to judge films based on how well they’re adapted from the book (which they shouldn’t), Sparks wrote the screenplay before he wrote the book; so there was no “have to” here.

  • MaryAnn

    Clearly, Sparks’ book should have been about the dad and the son, too. :->

  • stryker1121

    Oh no it’s Nicholas Sparks–who dies this time at the altar of Sparks’s schmaltz god?

  • MaryAnn

    Oh no it’s Nicholas Sparks–who dies this time at the altar of Sparks’s schmaltz god?

    Do you really want to know?


    (It’s Greg Kinnear. He had got the cancer, and died on a Tuesday.)


  • Nathan

    Cracked’s take on the Nicholas Sparks formula

    Jesus, this looks like the synopsis of a bad soap opera.

  • Mimi


    Dammit, I liked Tolstoy and turtles, and I so did not get laid in high school, let alone by the hunky volleyball player or whatever. What was I doing wrong? Was my dad too healthy? Teach me, Miley!

  • mfan

    Come on, you mean you didn’t enjoy the part where Miley was driven to her dad’s house as a passenger, but by the end of the film, she is more sure of herself and who she is, and is able to take the wheel and drive off by herself? Classic feminist moment!

    I liked all the parts of the film that had Miley in it. I will definitely be buying the DVD, too. I support all of Miley’s movies, and always will. People who don’t know much about her don’t seem to understand the amoount of goodwill she has earned, and won’t damage that by being rude or negative. Go Miley!

  • MaryAnn

    Between this comment, mfan, and your bizarre attitude about Selena Gomez, I’m beginning to suspect some trollishness…

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